The prosperity of the digital marketplace
America, and the world, has become accustomed to the online shopping cart. It's a small image in the corner of our screen, following us from one website to another. The pandemic accelerated this turn to the digital marketplace, leading the average person to order what he or she needs from the comfort of their own home. The safety and convenience of online shopping has noticeable effects, boxes piling up on front porches and stoops.
Brands also rejoice, if they're handling the transition and maintenance of their online store correctly. Their clientele is constantly available, working from home and spending more and more time shopping for the items they need online. These trends related to the pandemic are likely to stay, if companies can continue to make online shopping consistently attractive to their clients.
The direct-to-consumer path
Without physical stores attracting customers, companies are looking to continue their role in a consumer's life. Many do this by cutting out the middle-site that handles the shopping element of their company. They establish what is known as a DTC program, a direct to consumer channel in which goods can be sold from brand to individual.
Why, you might ask, would a company waste precious resources on their own platform for commerce when they could easily have a third party handle the selling and purchasing of their products? A company may be concerned about meeting customers' expectations and demands. A misstep in the various elements of a DTC site might create dissatisfied consumers, affecting a brand's image and reliability.
McKinsey & Company outlines the numerous benefits of a direct to consumer site, so long as it handles the complexities of products and costs, and aligns with the brand's objectives. These factors require some thought and planning, relying on the in-person retail standards and perhaps offering benefits to establish a more in-depth customer relationship.
Gillette, for example, offered customers a subscription to monthly deliveries starting with a free first kit, according to the above McKinsey & Company source. The direct-to-consumer model, with some adjustment to operate in the online environment, can help a company build a wider and more loyal consumer base.
The culture of eCommerce
ECommerce customers are accustomed to speed and exceptional user experience in the sites they frequent. The popularity of the commercial 'holidays' has also grown. Cyber Monday is an excellent example, demonstrating the heightened focus on ordering online. Sales for Cyber Monday have even surpassed those of Black Friday digital sales, according to FinancesOnline.
In 2020, Finance Online reported, online sales reached $10.8 billion, the largest online sales day ever. The rise in these popular eCommerce days demonstrates a shift in customer opinion. No longer do they have to fight through hordes in a large mall. They have no need to stand in long lines or paw through mountains of products in an overwhelmingly large collection. Although some still do and will. For most, the materials they need are only a click away.
But the task of successfully relating to every demographic, and to each consumer within, is daunting. Producing products a hapless individual may wander by in a store front, catching their attention and luring them inside is one thing — doing so online is quite another. There are security factors to contend with, protecting customer data and preferences, as well as maintaining a website that appeals to many.
Investing the time and energy in well-made direct-to-consumer sites is well worth a company's effort. The effects of a site that attracts loyal customers in a growing eCommerce environment will aid your company in making the most of the booming eCommerce market. Perle can help equip your entity with the tools needed for success in this space. Read our customer success stories to find out more.